Can Court Watching Hold the Judiciary Accountable? and The Fully Informed Jury Association

Can Court Watching Hold the Judiciary Accountable?

What is the importance of court watching in order to assure trust and confidence in public proceedings?  The trial court is supposed to conduct its proceedings and other public business openly. The court must ensure that its proceedings are accessible and audible to all participants, including litigants, attorneys, court personnel, as well as members of the public including victims, families, jurors and the general public. How can we, the public, demand the courts provide complete access to proceedings? Does the public have a right to the details of a plea deal?

Host Teresa Wilke talks with Allen Rostron, Associate Dean of Students, William R. Jacques Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor of Law at UMKC School of Law where he has been on the faculty since 2003. They will be joined by Josie Ellerman and Sarah Duggan, UMKC law students and members of the American Constitution Society, to talk about the importance of law and courts.

Before becoming a teacher, Professor Rostron worked in Washington, D.C. as a Senior Staff Attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, where he was part of a nationwide litigation effort that included lawsuits brought against gun manufacturers by several dozen major cities and counties. Rostron began his career working as a law clerk for Judge Thomas S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and then as a litigation associate at the Cravath Swaine & Moore law firm in New York City.

The Fully Informed Jury Association – Jury Duty Is For Heroes

Since the founding of the United States, governments at all levels have chipped away at many of our rights that the founders intended to be protected by the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. In other cases, where these founding documents did not guarantee and uphold liberty and justice for all, wider legal recognition of these rights has often been established through Constitutional amendments, legislation, and court precedent. The landscape for jury rights has changed significantly since the founding of the United States. Where do our jury rights stand today? It is time for a health check.

The Fully Informed Jury Association empowers jurors to uphold individual rights and liberty by instilling in them a rich understanding of their protective role, including jurors’ right to refuse to enforce unjust law. FIJA advances its mission through a variety of programs including one-time events and ongoing outreach activities such as Community Campaigns, Information Tables, Jury Rights Day and more.

Host Margot Patterson talks with Kirsten C. Tynan, Executive Director of the Fully Informed Jury Association about their mission of informing jurors about their rights and what you can do in your community to create just courts.

Fully Informed Jury Association –
P.O. Box 5570, Helena, Montana 59858
Phone (406) 442-7800
Website –
FaceBook –

JoJR Calendar for the week of November 26th

Corey’s Network invites survivors of murder to their weekly workshops to learn how to deal with grief, the media, investigation, court, and moving forward after a homicide has occurred. This is a workshop, not a grief group, you should bring something to take notes with and please include only those individuals mature enough in age to deal with the issues. The next workshop, What to expect in the investigation, will be held Monday, November 26th and again December 3rd from 6 to 8 PM at the Church of the Four Corners, 14300 E. US HWY 40, KCMO. The church is located East of the HyVee at 40 Hwy and Noland Rd. For more information and listing of future workshops call 816-834-9161 or email

The Black Archives of Mid-America, the Missouri Conference of the NAACP, Missouri Faith Voices, and Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) will erect its first historical maker to acknowledge the racial terror lynching of Mr. Levi Harrington, who was killed in the West Bottoms of KCMO on April 3, 1882. Levi Harrington was one of at least 60 African American victims of racial terror lynching killed in Missouri between 1877 and 1950.
You are invited to the dedication ceremony of the historical marker on Saturday, December 1st at 3pm in West Terrace Park, 750 Pennsylvania Ave, KCMO to remember Mr. Harrington, and to acknowledge and tell stories that are inclusive of our past in order to facilitate healing.